After curfew, total lockdown now looms

After curfew, total lockdown now looms

South Sudan is on the verge of imminent total COVID-19 lockdown following the national task force’s new directives demanding citizens’ strict adherence to protocols to avoid the increase in infections.

On Friday, August 27, the National Taskforce on COVID-19 pandemic issued new directives, banning gathering across South Sudan and imposed indefinite night curfew that begins at 10 pm.

Other measures included the constant wearing of the facemask while in public places like schools, hand washing with soap and water. The task force appealed to the citizens to ensure they follow these containment measures to avoid escalation of the situation.

“Today, I announce the start of the night curfew from them in the evening. We do not want any movement during the night and we do not want any night gathering during the night. Even weddings are banned.

“If they go without implementing these directives and measures, we will be forced to impose a lockdown and this must be clear for everyone,” Vice President for Service Cluster and Chairperson of COVID-19 National Taskforce, Hussein Abdelbaggi Akol warned the public.

The announcement came after the ministry of health reported an increase in the number of infections with more than 23 new confirmed cases last week, bringing the overall positive cases to over 11, 365 and 120 deaths, as of August 28, 2021.

According to the Ministry of Health, South Sudan could experience the third wave of COVID-19 pandemic that is already being experienced by its neighbouring countries- Kenya and Uganda.

South Sudan which was yet to receive the second COVID-19 vaccine consignments, in June gave out over 72,000 doses of AstraZeneca to Kenya amidst fear of not completing the doses before the expiry date.

However, the ministry of health announced last week that South Sudan was expecting thousands of AstraZeneca vaccines to arrive to enable massive vaccination of citizens across the country.

South Sudan lifted the COVID-19 restriction in May this year following more than a year lockdown that had devastated impacts, including disruption of citizen’s livelihoods as well as the country’s economy.